PUHI — Melissa McFerrin-Warrack, Kauai Community Market manager, said the big blessing came — just like it did 10 years ago — Saturday on the 10th anniversary of the weekly market at Kauai Community College.
“The rains came down,” she said. “But it cleared up and we were able to get on with the demonstrations. That was the big blessing.”
Similarly, the skies opened up with punctuations of lightning flashes and distant thunder as water buzzed off the shower-curtain-protected taiko drums that powered through the downpour to welcome the throng of people who arrived to shop at the weekly market.
“We were worried back then about having to have people on the side of the road beckoning shoppers,” McFerrin-Warrack said. “But not today. People come to the market rain or shine.”
The Kauai Community Market, and its sister Wednesday Kauai Culinary Market at The Shops at Kukuiula, are partnerships with the Kauai County Farm Bureau. The Kauai Community Market is each Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m..
Tthe market has grown from its original dozen vendors to more than 60 vendors each week.
“Kauai Community College is the place where we are teaching others how to grow their own food and inspiring them to create a plan for developing a unique business out of what is grown fresh in a garden,” said KCC Chancellor Helen Cox. “This is also a place where we are promoting a lifestyle that is sustainable, where growing our own food is a way of life.”
The market has been featured in numerous publications and programs internationally. It has helped more than 100 local farms and businesses.
“And don’t forget the market babies,” said Isobel Storch of Lanipo Farms. “We’ve had many babies — Florence Toyofuku, Cindy Lin, and all those little ones that have been born surrounded and nourished by the market ohana. This is the environment they grow up in.”
Kimberly Hope, picking up the entertainment following the Joyful Noise welcome, also grew up in the Kauai Community Market, making guest appearances with her electric violin while a student at Island School.
“She’s really good,” said Paul Zina, Eleele School principal, who was taking advantage of shopping the market during a break in the robotics competition taking place at Island School. “We need to get the right person to hear her play. Her potential is unlimited. We just need to have that right person hear her.”
Shoppers reveled in the many discounts offered by many of the original vendors like the Salty Wahine Gourmet Sea Salts. which rolled back prices to 2009 for the day, and the Lyndsey Haraguchi-Nakayama specials on Hawaiian food from the Hanalei Taro food truck.
“What makes this market unique is that it brings all the pieces together, from seed to table, to support buying and eating local,” said Kauai County Farm Bureau President Johnny Gordines. “There has been such a strong public interest in supporting agriculture, and this is one of many ways we can outreach to our Kauai community.”
Source: The Garden Island